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Hello, Football! Viewership Trends for the NFL’s Season Opener

In a year that has anything but, the NFL’s return last night offered a bit of normalcy — although with the ongoing pandemic, it’s impossible to predict what will happen this season. But for the time being, football fans can enjoy live games being back on TV — and enjoy they certainly did. 

According to Inscape, the TV data company with insights from a panel of more than 16 million active and opted-in smart TVs, of all the minutes watched yesterday (Sept. 10), 6.04% of the time was spent watching the NFL season opener on NBC between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. An additional 1.15% of the time was spent on NBC’s pregame show Football Night in America: Kickoff

Indeed, audiences were tuning in long before the actual kickoff — here’s what Inscape’s live TV dashboard looked like before 8pm ET last night: 

Via Inscape.tv

By 8:34pm ET, the game was by far the most-watched program on TV, with CBS’ Big Brother a distant second: 

Via Inscape.tv

Here’s a look at audience location by local area market. Unsurprisingly, Kansas City leads the list of viewership hotspots, followed by Topeka, St. Joseph, Joplin-Pittsburg and Wichita-Hutchinson. 

Aside from other sports and news programming, here’s what else NFL fans are watching these days:

Want insights into the return of live sports this summer? 

Our latest report is chock-full of data from Inscape as well as advertising highlights from always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv. In the report, you’ll learn:

  • Which sports TVs are most tuned into
  • League viewing hotspots by DMA
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  • What audiences are watching when sports aren’t on
  • How postponements will impact college football networks and advertisers
  • Viable alternatives to capture sports audiences without access to playoff ad buys

Download your free copy here (enter $0 as payment amount) or email us at yotvrev@gmail.com for the PDF.